I spent one year living in Hong Kong 7 years ago. As I returned early this month for my best friend's wedding, I reflected on the comparison between my past living in Hong Kong and current life situation in Jakarta.
In Hong Kong, I got the best quality of life in terms of mobility. I could comfortably walk from home to school, or to my favorite dai pai dong, or to the ferry terminal for crossing Victoria Harbour to the other side, or to the train stations catching MTR for commuting or sleeper trains for traveling to Beijing. Minibus and bus options were also abundant, taking me to the great outdoor for swimming or hiking in just 30 minutes. Going places was sooo much easy, one thing that is quite the opposite in Jakarta.
What Hong Kong lacks while Jakarta thrives is in the square meters. Rooms and buildings are larger, on-land houses could still be affordable (more so, farther from the city centre, of course). Having a kid now, I’ve also come to appreciate the perk of being close to extended family that I can reach out for help. My husband and I can go to the movies, concerts, or other adult-getaways whenever my in-laws are available.
Quality of life is very different in every place, and what is considered important is very unique to every person. My sister in-law, for example, has chosen to move to Berlin to pursue her quality of life in terms of: air quality, safety as independent woman, and public transport that work. I agree that we should understand for ourselves, what qualities we can’t live without and what others we can trade off. While I believe that human is equipped with the ability to adapt in every living situation, it goes back to our willingness to integrate ourselves, based on what we think is worthwhile.